Yesterday as I was driving to Wesley to be with Mallorie in the hospital, I so badly wanted to turn around and head home. I wanted to be with my daughter, but I also wanted to be with my family at home. I hate the feeling of being torn. As I headed west on Kellogg, I laid my head back on my head rest with both hands on the steering wheel, begging for a solid reason to turn back. I hate exiting off Kellogg to merge onto Hillside. I guess that is because it is the last free stretch of road until I enter the confinement of sickness, pain, suffering and sorrow. But last night when I started getting that deep, depressed feeling in my chest and began my exit onto Hillside, the beautiful sunset caught my attention. Then I immediately starting thinking of Matthew 5:14.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill can not be hidden.” Matthew 5:14. The Message Bible states it like this, “You’re here to be a light, bringing out the God-colors of the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine!”
Here is how my mind works. I believe if we open our hearts and minds, God uses these vessels to communicate. I have never heard God speak out loud. I have never heard a booming voice call out to me in human-likeness. I am not saying it doesn’t happen, but it has never happened to me. But what I do believe, in my case, is that when I am alone and it’s quite (usually driving by myself in my car) God places thoughts into my heart. Sometimes I respond or act on these feelings and other times they leave as fast as they come, but last night, this verse lingered. Even with all the stress of the IV issues Mallorie had and the constant care I had to provide, that verse still kept playing over and over again in my head. I knew I had to read this verse and see what the Lord was trying to tell me. And what I discovered has truly touched and comforted me.
See, as I was driving to the hospital, I was only thinking of myself. How I didn’t want to go, how it was an inconvenience. I wanted to stay at my house and sleep in my bed. I didn’t want to see Mallorie sick and upset. I truly wanted to flee. But what good would I bring to God or my daughter, if I bailed out, or decided to hide. That is not what God wants me to do. He wants me to suck it up and bring my A game. My daughter needed me for support, to help be a light in her time of darkness. She needed me to pray for her and love her and let her know everything will be ok.
Sometimes God uses our circumstances to bring us closer to Him. And bad things happen because we live in a broken world. And on my drive to Wesley God revealed to me that I need to keep myself opened, and quit running away, when things get hard. If I keep myself hidden, I could miss an opportunity to share God’s love and grace with someone who needs it. Or on the flip side, I might miss an chance for someone to share God’s awesomeness with me.
Now, I have come to the conclusion that the reason I thought of Matthew 5:14 is because I as turning onto Hillside street. Ya know “city on a hill.” And that got me thinking about Wesley being on Hillside and how the scripture seems fitting. What I mean by this is a hospital is a great place to “shine” God’s love. And even though there will probably be many more times, where I must travel Hillside due to hospital stays, I will forever think of being the salt and light of Jesus. What a positive reminder.